The ride-hailing market appears to be a thriving industry in the United States, and the SoftBank Group’s chief executive officer is not leaving anything on the table as Masayoshi Son has said at a news conference that he wants to invest in Uber while the company is also interested in making an investment in Lyft. The two San Francisco, California-based companies are among the largest transportation network companies in the United States, which explains Son’s eagerness to take a stake in Uber or Lyft, though Son added that there is no finality just yet to the kind of investment he wants to make.
Son’s interest in the ride-hailing market in the United States seems to have been inspired by SoftBank’s recent investment in Ola, India’s largest ride-hailing service. The money was expected to help Ola beef up its efforts to stay ahead of competition in the country, where it is in a tight rivalry with Uber, though both companies have been losing huge sums of money as they attempt to boost their levels of production while saving operational costs. SoftBank’s investment, therefore, came right in time as Ola was seeking to raise funds in order to achieve economies of scale. SoftBank also has stake in other ride-hailing companies in Asia, including GrabTaxi Holdings based in Singapore and China’s Didi Chuxing Technology. Son said he believes that expanding SoftBank’s ride-hailing investment to Uber or Lyft would help incorporate the self-driving car system into those firms and eventually drive the future growth of the industry.
While it remains unclear how much SoftBank is willing to invest in Lyft, it was previously reported that the Japanese telecommunications and Internet firm was pursuing a multi-billion dollar stake in Uber. According to reports, both companies are in the preliminary stage of discussion over the deal. SoftBank has been making huge investments lately following the launch of its investment fund called the Vision Fund in May of this year. Since then, the Tokyo, Japan-based company has invested in various other businesses, including Boston Dynamics, shared workspace provider WeWork, and Paytm, among others.